Self-portrait & Kitchen 009I believe in equality for all no matter what color you are, who you pray to, who your lifetime partner is, or what planet you are from.

The current appeal in front of the Supreme Court of the United States has many of my friends excited for the possibility that maybe, finally, marriage for same-sex couples will move forward as it rightly should.

It disappoints me as a Christian to hear other Christians say being gay is a sin. It disappoints me as a human being when I hear others say it is a choice. Christians so easily forget Jesus telling us to love our neighbors as ourselves while they are busy quoting Leviticus. Who are we to judge each other in what is right or wrong? So what if your friends love people of the same-sex? So what if your son/daughter brings home someone of the same-sex whom they love madly. So what? Do you love them any less? Do you throw years of history with your friend because you don’t like their “choice?” Do you deny them the same legal rights that you have with your own spouse?

I think Jesus would be appalled if he returned right now and saw all the protests, fights to stop equality, and the hate being spewed all in his name. We were all perfectly and wonderfully made by our creator (no matter who you believe your creator to be). Yet these ideas that gays and lesbians are less than the rest of us does not sit right with me because I think of all my gay and lesbian friends as perfect and wonderful as my other friends. They didn’t choose their life, they just are. That’s how God made them, in his image. Tell me where in the Bible it says God is heterosexual because I’m pretty sure Jesus didn’t have a heavenly mother, just an Earthly one. Show me which of the ten commandments says, “Thou shalt not marry another of the same-sex.” Tell me how loving your neighbor as yourself means denying them the same rights you have and take for granted.

Maybe I was just fortunate to have grown up in churches that did not spew judgments about same-sex couples. Maybe that’s why I have this differing view from so many Christians. Or maybe I keep “God is love” in my head. Jesus was once scorned for spending time with a tax collector, just one step above the social ladder than the harlots at the bottom. Jesus didn’t care what they did or said. His mission was to be with the people and spread his message.

What if the world was reversed? What if same-sex marriage was just marriage? They were the only couples allowed to have legal unions. What if heterosexuals worked for decades to attain the same legal rights to marry and were still denied? Yes, decades. This isn’t a recent phenomenon. I remember having these discussions in my college Sociology classes.

Don’t like that scenario?

Where would we be without the Women’s Suffrage movement? Still under the thumbs of men being treated as property and no rights to vote.

Where we would be if Rosa Parks hadn’t refused to give up her seat on the bus for a white person? Still using separate bathrooms, separate drinking fountains, dining areas, and schools.

Where would we be if interracial marriage were still illegal? In giant groups with others of the same color still segregated.

Where would we be without Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem and hundreds of other women fighting for equal rights? The dark ages with the Cleavers.

If we lived in a world where the Suffrage and Civil Rights movements never happened most of you would be miserable and stuck in unhappy marriages with more kids than you can count. I probably wouldn’t even be writing this without Chaz’s permission.  Hell, my own marriage wouldn’t be legal along with my parent’s marriage. Which means I wouldn’t even exist.  Or, I would’ve married my ex and would be up shit creek without a paddle or canoe right now.

I feel fortunate to live in a time where so many people have paved this path we get to choose. I can juggle work and family or I can stay home. I get to vote every election or not. I was able to marry who I chose.

It’s time everyone else had that choice, too. If you don’t agree, that’s your choice, but don’t hide behind religion or skillfully crafted phrases and quotes that sound supportive and Christian-like but read “hate” between the lines.

I want my friends to be able to marry whom they choose. They have every right to be as happy as I am and you are as human beings.

To show support, my friend, Brittany, put together a Gluten-Free Raspberry Equality Pie. Make an equality pie and spread the love.

Gluten-free Kal-bi Jerky

Gluten-free Kal-bi Jerky

Gluten-free Kal-bi Jerky

The recipes I have for you are piling up and but I’ve kept my nose to the keyboard working on posts for Chocolate Wasteland because I feel compelled to tell a story that keeps pouring out. Much of this week was spent laying it all out as much and as fast as I could and editing it all daily. It feels really good to be able to sit and write like I used to without worrying about time constraints. Other than making sure dinner is ready at a reasonable time.

If you keep up with me on here, you know after recent testing I made more changes to my diet. The more I learn about yeast allergy/intolerance the more I learn that I need to follow an anti-candida diet (ACD). Some of the recipes I’ll be sharing with you won’t fall under the new changes to my diet but I’m sharing them anyway because of all the time I put into developing them. Besides, not all of you have to eat like I do.

I started making beef jerky last year. It came in handy while traveling to make sure I had a good source of protein on the plane or in the car. One day while making it I realized that I could make it Korean style. I absolutely love kal-bi and nearly lived off of it when I could get it back home. These days I make it once to twice a year because I cannot get Korean style short ribs unless I get them from the Asian market where the beef is not grass-fed.

I finally started messing with my idea and was rewarded with kal-bi nirvana. Gluten-free style! Just don’t eat it all at once. You’ll have a sore tummy. And you might burp a lot. No, it didn’t happen to me.  Really.  *whistling*

Gluten-free Kal-bi Jerky

2 pounds London Broil sliced 1/4″ thick against the grain (your butcher can do this for you)

1/2 cup gluten-free tamari, liquid aminos, or coconut aminos

1/2 cup sherry

1/2 cup Grade B maple syrup

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 ground ginger

pinch of chili flakes

In a medium to large bowl, mix the gf tamari, sherry, maple syrup, garlic powder, and ground ginger. Add the beef and coat it well with the marinade. Or you can place the sliced beef in a large Ziploc bag and pour the marinade over it. Let the beef marinate for a minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of 3 days. Lay the strips out on your dehydrator trays and set your temperature to 180. Let the dehydrator run for 8 hours and rotate your trays every 2 hours.

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free and Gluten-Free Wednesdays at The Gluten-Free Homemaker. 

Beef Stew

Beef Stew

Beef Stew

The only thing I like about Winter is comfort foods and having something to warm me from the inside.  Despite living on the Mainland again for almost sixteen years, I’m still an island girl at heart longing for the days of terminal Summer again.  There are so many variations of beef stew that it’s quite impossible to say which is the best, especially when you take into account all the different ethnic variations.  Each lends its own distinct flavor profile to the palate.  Some days I want a classic beef stew.  Other days I want a Japanese Beef Stew.  Then there are days where I want Grandma Cresing’s beef stew.  No one makes it quite like Grandma Cresing.

I opt for a classic most of the time.  Mostly because I was on a mission to perfect it to my tastes.  So here we go.  This stew can be made in a slow cooker or on the stove depending on how quickly you want it.

I do not add anything to thicken it.  I opt to use the potatoes to thicken the stew naturally which is why some of it needs to be a small dice.  They will break down faster than the larger pieces so your larger pieces are left to cook perfectly rather than come apart.  The stew may not be perfectly thick when you dish it out, but the leftovers will.

Beef Stew – serves 4-6

1 pound stew meat (I use grass-fed beef)

1 onion, sliced into half-moons or chopped

3 garlic cloves, rough chop

2 medium Idaho potatoes, large dice except for half dice down into small dice, this will help it break down and thicken the stew.

5 medium carrots, sliced

olive oil

1 tablespoon gluten-free Worcestershire sauce (I use Lea & Perrins)

1 teaspoon seasoning mix (recipe follows)

3 1/2 cup beef broth (I make my own)

2 bay leaves

salt & pepper

Season your beef with salt and pepper.  Heat a pan (if using a slow cooker – if you have a Ninja cooking system, you can do it right in the Ninja) or large Dutch oven (or other large pot) over medium heat.  Add olive oil and let it warm up.   Add the seasoned beef and brown on all sides.  If using a slow cooker, remove from the pan and add to the slow cooker.  Add remaining ingredients to the slow cooker or Dutch oven and cover.  If using a slow cooker, cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.  If cooking on the stove bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to low and cook for 2 hours.

Seasoning Mix

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon mace

1 teaspoon dried marjoram

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon dried sage

1 teaspoon dried savory

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Mix all together in a small bowl and transfer to an air tight container.

This post is linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays at The Gluten-Free Homemaker